Cruise into deep fjords with active glaciers and spectacular icebergs, explore ancient Norse, an extinct North Germanic language spoken in the Norse settlements of Greenland until their demise in the late 15th century, soak in a natural hot spring, learn of Greenland’s native Inuit, all of your first sight to Greenland nature.
Silver Cloud is one of the best cruise lines Silversea’s purpose-built luxury Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A fleet of Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding.
Embark the Silver Cloud and depart on your exciting 9-day Silversea Expedition – “Expedition Greenland”. Meet the members of your Expedition Team in The Theatre and attend the first of many memorable dinners in The Restaurant.
At Sea Crossing the Denmark Strait
Spend the day crossing the Denmark Strait, which connects the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Meet some of your fellow explorers, attend a Zodiac briefing and learn about the rules and regulations for going ashore in the Arctic. Above all relax and become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board the Silver Cloud. Tonight, you are invite to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party where the Captain will introduce his senior officers.
Skjoldungen Fjord (Thrym Glacier)
Cruising along Greenland’s rugged eastern coast, the Silver Cloud explores the Skoldungen Fjord. Spend much of the day out on deck to take in the enchanting scenery: towering mountains tipped with snow, ice-scraped valley sides and sculptured icebergs in shades of white and blue. Upon arriving at the top of the fjord where we can easily see the retreating state of the Thrym Glacier, we will have our first Zodiac cruise of the journey, allowing us to explore this picturesque setting from a unique, up-close perspective.
On our return journey, exiting this U-shaped fjord, join your Expedition Team out on deck to marvel at the spectacular scenery and to look for humpback whales and orcas, frequently seen at the entrance of the fjord.
Cruise and Explore Prince Christian Sound and Aappilattoq, Greenland
Today is to explore one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features: Prince Christian Sound. The water is placid and the crisp scent of ice fills the air. On either side of us, waterfalls stream down sharp, wrinkled mountainsides as we navigate the fjord through a sea of icebergs that glitter in the sun. Born of compacted ancient snows that calve into the sound at the glacier’s edge, each iceberg is different from the next. Time and weather conditions permitting, plan to set out via the Zodiacs to explore even more. In the afternoon, we will visit the small settlement of Aappilattoq. You can walk through the village and climb a nearby hill for excellent views of the sound and the mountains.
Nanortalik and Uunartoq Island, Greenland
Nanortalik lies in a scenic area surrounded by steep mountainsides and is Greenland’s most southerly town. The town’s name means the “place of polar bears”, which refers to the polar bears that used to be seen floating offshore on summer’s ice floes. Nanortalik has an excellent open-air museum that gives a broad picture of the region from Inuit times to today. At the summer hunting camp, Inuit in traditional clothing will describe aspects of their ancestor’s customs and lifestyle including an impressive kayak demonstration. Time permitting we will enjoy the tradition of kaffe-mik (coffee and cake) and a folk dancing presentation at the Cultural Centre.
In the afternoon, the ship will drop anchor at Uunartoq. Since the days of the Norse, the hot springs here have been renowned for their healing effects. Take this opportunity to relax and unwind in steaming waters. It is quite an experience to be in the hot spring and see icebergs float by. Remember to pack swimwear! Condition permitting we will offer a Zodiac cruise past some of the icebergs north of Uunartoq.
Qaqortoq and Hvalsey, Greenland
This morning we arrive at the picturesque harbour town of Qaqortoq. The town’s name translates to ‘white place’, but today, instead of snow, we will admire the hillsides of colourful houses painted in bright primary shades. The local guides will take you to the charming town square, home to Greenland’s oldest fountain built in 1928. Surrounding it are two churches, one old and one new, an open-air fish and meat market, and the Qaqortoq Museum. This modest museum houses a superb collection of historical artefacts associated with Inuit hunting and fishing, a whaler’s gun and a collection of contemporary artwork.
In the afternoon the Silver Cloud anchors off Hvalsey. Once ashore, we will learn how Christianity spread its influence throughout Europe, which eventually reached remote Greenland, where it established itself in the country in 1000 AD. Hvalsey Church was built in the 14th century and is the best preserved of the churches in Greenland from that period. Together we will visit the church and other historical ruins from the time of the Vikings.
Qassiarsuk and Lttileq, Greenland
Encircled by a wealth of Norse ruins, Qassiarsuk (or Brattahlid) is where we begin our day. Here we tour the foundation remains of the manor house of Erik the Red, who found Greenland after being banished from Iceland and Norway for murder. We will also visit the site of the first Christian church ever built in North America, see a recently unearthed Norse graveyard that contains remains of 144 Norse colonists, and have a chance to admire Hans Lynge’s remarkable bronze sculpture of Erik the Red.
We then travel to Ittileq. From our landing site, we will walk to Igaliku where we will meet up with the 30 inhabitants. With our local guides we will visit the ruins of Garðar, which was once the religious heart of 12th-century Norse Greenland.
Gather in The Theatre to learn more about Greenland’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. The Expedition Team members will present their informative topics to prepare you for Nuuk, its museum and the special treasures it houses. Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for marine mammals and to identify the seabirds that might follow our passage.
This morning we arrive in Greenland’s first town (1728) and current capital, Nuuk, which means “the heartland”. When it was decided that small coastal populations should leave and be relocated to Nuuk in the 1950s and 1960s, the largest residential building in all of Denmark (to which Greenland belonged) was built in Nuuk, housing what was considered almost 1% of Greenland’s population. The building proved to be impractical and unpopular, but was somewhat of an attraction before it was demolished in 2013.
Our leisurely walk through this picturesque harbour town allows us to take in Nuuk’s natural beauty, and also to see Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, parliament, and the Church of our Saviour. At the Greenlandic National Museum we have the fantastic opportunity to see the famous Qilakitsoq mummies. If you are in the mood for a postcard to Santa Claus, just opposite the museum is a gigantic post-box meant for his mail.
After breakfast, disembark the Silver Cloud and transfer to the airport for your flight home.